best when viewed in low light


Dr King's day

I had a conversation last year with a gentleman whose fraternity played a large part in funding the recent Dr. Martin Luther King memorial in DC. I had mixed feelings, and what he said changed my mind.

If racism (or any kind of bigotry, really) is an insurmountable monolith, then Dr. King managed to carve out an area in that monolith about the size of a man. What he represents is simply the recognition of the monolith's existence, and the hope that we can do better if we scrape and scratch away bits at a time.

Last night Fuzzykins McGrath and I saw DJANGO: Unchained

I went in expecting to be disappointed (but that's another post), which is the best way to see a movie.

What I saw was a recipe for empowerment, and it was a work of genius.

I don't even want to say anything about it, really. Let the work do itself. If I were to point out elements of the film to watch, it would only distract you from the humor and tension and horror that works its way so deeply into our psyche and lets us see things a little differently than we did before.

I can't think of a better way to spend a day that honors a man who gave his life for his own freedom than by seeing this movie again. Tarantino has done what no other director could do at any other time in history. Jamie Foxx as Django has done what few other actors could, at the first moment in our present when such a role is possible. Leonardo DiCaprio is probably the only white dude that could play Candie and not be so widely despised for being convincingly, achingly naive in the face of his own brutality and still survive with a career. Christoph Waltz...

When we came home, I insisted that we watch Inglorious Basterds, because the seamless transfer of character from one QT flick to the next is part of the fun. As "The Jew Hunter", Waltz's mastery of tension and humor is mind-dumbingly frightening. As Dr. King Shultz (great grandfather of Paula, perhaps?), those same character traits make him appear confidently badass and threatening only in so far as you know this ruthless bastard will do whatever he can to destroy the institution of slavery...even though he can't.

Just go see it. Or watch Barack Obama's second inauguration. Or both.

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